Written by 17:56 World

Israel Recovers Bodies of 3 More Hostages in Gaza

Israeli forces retrieved the bodies of three Oct. 7 Hamas attack victims in an overnight operation in northern Gaza, the Israeli military said on Friday, further heightening fears for the fate of the remaining hostages held in Gaza.

Israeli officials identified the three hostages as Hanan Yablonka, 42; Michel Nisenbaum, 59; and Orion Hernandez Radoux, a dual citizen of France and Mexico. According to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman, all three were killed in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack, and Hamas militants brought their bodies back to Gaza.

Roughly 125 living and dead hostages now remain in Gaza, according to the Israeli authorities, as talks for a cease-fire that would also secure their release have stalled. Israel and Hamas have conducted indirect negotiations for months in an attempt to clinch an agreement, but those talks collapsed in early May.

On Thursday, the Israeli prime minister’s office said the war cabinet had ordered its negotiating team to continue talks to reach a deal, but prospects appeared remote as Israel pursues its operation in Rafah, in southern Gaza. The Israeli government has faced rising criticism by some of the hostages’ family members, who say it has not gone far enough to reach an agreement.

“The recovery of their bodies is a silent but resolute reminder that the state of Israel is obligated to immediately dispatch negotiation teams with a clear demand to bring about a deal that will swiftly return all the hostages home,” said the Hostages Families Forum, a group that represents family members of the captives.

Over the past week, a total of seven bodies have been brought back to Israel for burial after being retrieved by Israeli soldiers and intelligence officers. They included Shani Louk, Mr. Radoux’s partner, an Israeli-German dual citizen who became a symbol of the brutality of the Hamas attack. Most of the seven hostages brought back had not been publicly declared presumed dead by the Israeli authorities.

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Last modified: 24 May 2024
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